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2018 European Cultural Heritage Summit in Berlin

Updated: Aug 8, 2019

2018 was exceptional in that the annual Europa Nostra Congress was absorbed into the first ever European Cultural Heritage Summit - ‘Sharing Heritage, Sharing Values’ – in the designated European Year of Cultural Heritage.

The Heritage Excellence Fair, Awards Ceremony and Europa Nostra General Assembly followed several days of conferences, workshops, panel discussions and exhibitions, and specialist discussions on various aspects of cultural heritage including historical sites, architecture, art, film and music. These took place in various locations, which included the huge domed interior hall of the Allianz Forum close to the Brandenburg Gate, the European Commission building just along the Unter den Linden, the Bavarian delegation building, the historic Nicolaihaus, the (formerly Prussian) State Library, and the ultra-modern Berlin Congress Centre (bcc for short) close to the Alexanderplatz and network of wide avenues built under the GDR. Almost all of these are situated in the historic Mitte district of old Berlin, which now feels fully integrated into the city at large.

Signature of the Berlin Call to Action by Presidents of the 3 co-hosting organisations of the Summit. Credit: Derdehmel

There was a most enjoyable Open Heritage Evening on the Museum Island, with some of the museums (including the Pergamon) open, and an open-air concert of folk music from several countries across Europe. This evoked the spirit of the Summit, as did the events generally, especially the big European Policy Debate, held in the Allianz Forum and then in the Congress Centre before the Awards Ceremony, at which the Federal President, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, made an address, as did our President, Placido Domingo, our Secretary-General, Sneska Quaedvlieg-Mihailovic, and European Commissioner Tibor Navracsics. The debate was conducted by national figures from various countries, including heritage coordinators, foundation trustees, specialists at various levels including students, and government and business figures, including some ambassadors.  

Guided tours after the main Summit included visits to housing estates and other historic areas, industrial and transport heritage, and the Sanssouci palace and gardens in Potsdam, the ‘Prussian Versailles’.  

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